With the season opener just around the corner we look at how Wigan Warriors will go in 2018.
The Warriors kick off the season with a trip to St Helens on 31st January as they look to defend their Super League crown.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Zak Hardaker, Joe Bullock (Barrow Raiders), Jarrod Sammut (London Broncos).
Ryan Sutton, John Bateman (Canberra Raiders), Sam Tomkins (Catalans Dragons), Caine Barnes (loan – Workington Town), Josh Woods (loan – Leigh Centurions).
St Helens (A), Leeds (H), Sydney (H) (WCC), Hull FC (H), London (A)
WHAT TO EXPECT
With a new coach, Adrian Lam, at the helm, Wigan will expect nothing less than back-to-back Grand Final wins this year. Will the Warriors take a while to adapt to a new coach or will they hit the ground running? We think Lam’s attacking style will suit the Wigan side, with speed and skill throughout the squad.
Zak Hardaker has a lot of critics to prove wrong and he has been handed a lifeline by Wigan to resurrect his career. He owes Wigan for this so, if he can keep his head clear, expect big things from the former Leeds man. We all know he’s a star man when it comes to his on the field action but will other clubs target him or will Wigan be the best move of his career so far?
Losing Tomkins, Bateman and Sutton will inevitably be a huge loss for the club. Replacing Tomkins with Hardaker means they’re not short on numbers at the back, with Morgan Escare able to fill in. With the other two being forwards, they could have signed a experienced, powerful second-rower to fill that void.
They will not have it easy at the start of their 2019 campaign. Travelling to St Helens for a derby, playing Leeds at home and then a World Club Challenge match-up against Sydney. The Warriors will be hoping to get one over on the derby with St Helens after losing 2-1 last season, only claiming a 30-10 victory in the Super 8s.
Top Tryscorer – Tom Davies
Top Pointscorer – Zak Hardaker
Club Player of the Year – Thomas Leuluai